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Life Inside

A Memoir

About The Book

The patient is an ascetically pretty 15½-year-old white female. She is intelligent, fearful, extremely anxious, and depressed. Her rage is poorly controlled and inappropriately expressed.
Diagnostic Impression: Program for social recovery in a supportive and structured environment appears favorable.
Life Inside
In 1967, three months before her sixteenth birthday, Mindy Lewis was sent to a state psychiatric hospital by court order. She had been skipping school, smoking pot, and listening to too much Dylan. Her mother, at a loss for what else to do, decided that Mindy remain in state custody until she turned eighteen and became a legal, law-abiding, "healthy" adult.
Life Inside is Mindy's story about her coming-of-age during those tumultuous years. In honest, unflinching prose, she paints a richly textured portrait of her stay on a psychiatric ward -- the close bonds and rivalries among adolescent patients, the politics and routines of institutional life, the extensive use of medication, and the prevalence of life-altering misdiagnoses. But this memoir also takes readers on a journey of recovery as Lewis describes her emergence into adulthood and her struggle to transcend the stigma of institutionalization. Bracingly told, and often terrifying in its truths, Life Inside is a life-affirming memoir that informs as it inspires.

About The Author

Product Details

  • Publisher: Washington Square Press (November 4, 2003)
  • Length: 368 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780743411509

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Raves and Reviews

Publishers Weekly [A] moving, poignant and enraging, yet redemptive account of one woman's refusal to accept victimization...powerfully told in vivid, poetic prose.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review) Complex, chilling, luminous: not one false step.

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